Self-Care Keeps You Balanced
I’ve had to learn this one the hard way. Multiple times. Since I hope I’m done learning it, I hope you’ll learn from my mistakes and prioritize your own self-care.
As entrepreneurs, hopefully we feel we are made to do what we do. Even knowing you must wear all the hats as a business owner, I hope you are passionate and excited about your business.
After all, that excitement leads to ideas and plans. Often, it isn’t hard to generate energy to be our own boss, serve our clients, and sell our labors of love – even if only for our excitement, passion, sense of responsibility, or just our sheer determination not to fail.
We also have the potential to be obsessive about it for those same reasons. We tend to be workaholics, answering emails, texts, phone calls, and online messages at all hours of the day from the most random places. Because it is our obsession and we are committed to the idea of our endeavor.
When I started Propel it was all I could do to stop thinking, dreaming, doing, working. I couldn’t stop ideating and would stay up into the early morning hours. I did that off and on for years actually, but I was in my late 20’s. I had a lot more energy and bounce back.
What Do You Value?
Luckily, a few years ago I realized that re-engaging a regular exercise routine would provide energy and strength I need throughout my day and week. Today, it’s the first thing I do each day. I have learned to get my body and head in the game each morning, I must focus on my own oxygen mask first, and only after that do I check the inbox and dive into work.
Throughout my life I’ve valued a few things:
- quality time with family, friends, and peers
- eight hours of sleep
- wholesome food
- productive hands/work
To be truthful, I’ve likely valued a lot more over the years, but today, those four values have really rounded out the core of my priorities.
The Pressure of Responsibility
Since 2009 however, spending time on what I value has often taken back seat. With the demand of building and running a business, not to mention answering the call of client work, my responsibilitarian nature (my top strength, according to Strength Finder 2.0) has grown into an unavoidable siren.
There are times I don't listen to my body telling me to "just say no" and I've finally learned that can begin a vicious cycle.
When that happens, I often find myself in a cranky mood, overly stressed, in physical pain, too tired to think, feeling as if I can’t do another single thing for another person, or even feeling like the world doesn’t care... at all.
Have you ever been there? Did you wonder if it was just a mood, or something more?
Flex Your Self-Care Muscles
As you begin flexing your self-care muscle, it will grow stronger and can become part of your regular routine. When you begin prioritizing putting on your oxygen mask it’s amazing to watch all of life’s areas balance out.
What is your self-care routine? Do you have one? If you haven’t thought about or written out your own list of ways to recharge and refill your life, let me encourage you to do it now.
Exercise: Make a Physical List
Stop and consider the areas you may need to stop and refill, then make a physical list. If you don’t know where to start, here is a list of ideas:
- Sleep in an extra hour
- Spend an hour with a pet
- Watch a funny movie
- Get a haircut and/or color
- Earth/ground yourself
- Pick flowers
- Spend time in the garden
- Sit by a river
- Watch an entire sunset
- Visit a museum or the zoo
- Spend an afternoon with a child
- Get a manicure or pedicure
- Hire a house cleaner
- Go shopping for a new pair of shoes
- Take a drive (honestly one of my favorites)
- Lay or sit in the sun for an hour
- Call your mom or grandma
- Take yourself to lunch
- Take a nap
- Digital detox for a day, half a day, or even just an hour
- Take a long bath
- Read a book or a magazine
- Go for a walk or a hike
- Get a massage
- Get a facial
- Do yoga
- Spend an hour or two enjoying a craft or hobby
- Outdoor sports like fishing, hunting, boating, etc
- Disconnect while camping
- Walk on the beach
- Visit the mountains
- Go for a bike ride
- Walk the dog
- Write a journal entry
- Make your favorite meal
- Make a list of what you’re grateful for
- Play a game or put together a puzzle
Many of the ideas on this list require me to pause and engage my mind to slow down, shift gears, have fun, rest, and recharge. In my personal life, spending quality time resting and taking care of my mind, body, and spirit is vital because I’ve learned that the alternative has the potential of sending me down a very destructive path.
All work and no play is neither fun nor healthy and the old adage “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” will only serve to drive you to that grave sooner than you think, so take the time you need to refuel.
What Do You Need?
Your self-care ideas and needs may be very different. I mean, my husband’s primary self-care method is fishing – every time - so, I get it. No matter what your juice is, when your brain can’t contain any more thoughts, or you realize you haven’t stopped in days, force yourself to stop and check your recent routines to self-identify what you need.
It could be physically, mentally, spiritually, or relationally, but in whichever way your cup feels empty there is need to stop and refill. After all, we cannot pour out into others what we do not already have to give.
To your health and to keeping your business, work, and passion enjoyable,
Related Articles & Resources:
- Get Propel's Self-Care Tracker and the final (7) resources being offereed throughout 2019. Sign-up for our enewsletter by 5/28/19 to start your subscription to our giveaways and inspiration.
- When a Project Becomes a Blessing
- Life Lessons for the Business Owner
- The Importance of Taking Breaks at Work